MANILA, Philippines – UAAP Cheerdance gets twice the action this year as the Season 85 competition takes centerstage on December 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The popular league event – which had been shuttered for two years due to the pandemic – returns after just seven months this time with all eight schools again vying to strut their way to the crown.
Here are some quick facts on the much-awaited event where the Far Eastern University (FEU) Cheering Squad aims for back-to-back crowns as the National University (NU) Pep Squad also vies to reclaim the throne.
Order of performance
The Adamson Pep Squad, now a regular podium finisher, kicks off the action while their fellow winners’ circle members in the last three editions – the FEU Cheering Squad and the NU Pep Squad – take the floor in the second half of the show.
Here’s the order of performance:
- Adamson Pep Squad
- UE Pep Squad
- UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe
- DLSU Animo Squad
- Ateneo Blue Eagles
- FEU Cheering Squad
- NU Pep Squad
- UP Pep Squad
Perhaps there’s no team more motivated for a comeback than the NU Pep Squad, which saw its three-peat title bid foiled after finishing second runner-up last season.
The Bulldogs, who rode on a nostalgia wave with their ’90s-hits routine last season, won six of the last eight cheerdance titles with only Adamson (2017) and FEU (2022) disrupting their reign.
But the FEU Cheering Squad remains a solid contender as shown by its podium consistency – finishing runner-up in three of the four previous seasons before finally capturing the Season 84 crown last May.
The Tamaraws, who paid homage to the legendary British rock band Queen in their winning performance, now target a fourth crown in competition history.
Also out to sustain its strong showing, the Adamson Pep Squad tries to build on the momentum from its 2017 title and its consecutive podium finishes since then.
Adamson aims for the top spot again after settling for runner-up honors last season with its Wild West-themed performance.
There’s no lack of controversies heading into the new cheerdance season.
Just last July, coaches of the UP Pep Squad have been accused by current and former members of physical and emotional abuse on top of unauthorized fee collections.
Although eight-time UAAP cheerdance champion Lalaine Pereña and her assistants have resigned since then, this season’s performance will be a test if the team’s internal conflicts have indeed been resolved.
NU Pep Squad coach Ghicka Bernabe, meanwhile, remains upbeat that her squad can learn from last season’s failed title conquest.
However, that did not stop her last May from questioning the league’s judging process.
While NU did not protest the results, Bernabe said she’s assessing whether their high-risk, high-reward stunts are still worth it, or if they should revert to safe but solid routines that she perceives recent judges now favor.
How to watch
Just like last season, fans can now watch the UAAP Cheerdance Competition live at the Mall of Asia Arena. Tickets can be purchased soon at the venue or at smtickets.com.
The event will also be aired live on television via One Sports (free-to-air), the UAAP Varsity Channel (pay TV), and Cignal Play (OTT streaming).
Smart has also been digitally streaming the UAAP events on its Smart GigaPlay app.
Fans overseas can watch the action on iWantTFC via its website (iwanttfc.com) or the iWantTFC app on iOS, Android, and other devices, including VEWD, ROKU, Amazon Fire, and select Android smart TVs.